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Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame banquet to honor 6 new inductees

The Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame awards banquet will be May 1, when the total number of individual inductees will grow to 50.

The banquet, at Villa Olivia, 1401 W. Lake St., will celebrate the lives and accomplishments of six new inductees, including one honoree from Naperville. It will be the seventh group of artists so honored.

The black-tie-optional affair is open to the public, with reservations $75 a person.

“The induction banquet is our group’s signature event and is always well-attended, so we encourage people to make their reservations early. There’s something very energizing about celebrating lives of achievement,” especially in the fine arts, said Murna Hansemann of Elgin, vice president of events and coordinator of the gala.

The deadline for reservations is April 25.

After dinner, each inductee will be introduced and presented with an inscribed medallion and a certificate noting their achievement.

Elvina Truman Pearce, of Naperville, will be one of them.

She both maintains a piano studio and has served as founding director of North Central College’s Division of Preparatory and Community Music. A national leader in the field of piano pedagogy, Pearce was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Awards for the National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy in 2011 and is the author of the forthcoming book “The Success Factor in Piano Teaching.”

Her performing career has included recitals at the National Gallery of Art and at Carnegie and Steinway Halls in New York, and appearances with both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Philharmonic.

An Arts Hall of Fame plaque recognizing each inductee will be added to the permanent Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame exhibit housed at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora.

The other artists forming the Class of 2014 are:

D. Lee DuSell (Visual Arts) was born in Aurora and studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

Jim Gibson (Performing Arts), a native of Aurora, has had a career as a musician and as host of a variety of TV programs and more than 1,500 pageant telecasts, including Miss USA, Miss Universe and Miss America.

Jane Peterson (Visual Arts), born and raised in Elgin, exhibited widely during her career, including shows at the Art Institute of Chicago and galleries in New York and Boston.

George Shipperley (Visual Arts), of Aurora, has devoted the decades since his retirement from a career in sales to the pursuit of his passion for painting, a pursuit that earned him the distinction of the first Signature Member of the Oil Pastel Society.

Randal Swiggum (Performing Arts/Arts Education) serves as conductor and artistic director of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, in which role he has achieved national and international recognition as both performer and educator.

To be considered for induction, candidates must be associated with the Fox Valley through birth, education, residence or service. They also must have completed a minimum 20 years in their professional field and received national or international recognition.

The Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame was first established in March 2000 as the Aurora Fine Arts Recognition Committee. Contributions received by April 15 will be acknowledged in the banquet’s souvenir program booklet. For more information, visit www.foxvalleyarts.org. Call 630-605-4000 for an invitation to the banquet.

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